• itsu at home

    April 17th, 2008quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), recipes, soups, vegan stuff

    every time i go to the uk, i try new and wonderful food that i wish i could take back home to los angeles. well guess what? turns out i can!

    spicy dumpling noodles (the quarrygirl version): steamed vegetable gyoza, asian vegetables, udon noodles, and miso broth

    on a recent trip to london, i felt so out of my element. i was wandering the streets looking for any one of the vegan restaurants i’d so carefully researched online…none of which i was finding. to make matters worse, i was with my ex-vegetarian (now vegan) english husband who was kindly patronizing me as i promised to show him all the “vegan friendly” restaurants i’d bragged about finding in his hometown that he’d failed to notice, because he must have been blind!

    2 hours later…no vegan restaurants. he’s late for a meeting…and his stupid american-girl-of-a-wife, who doesn’t even know from which direction the traffic will be crossing, is aimlessly pulling him around the west end looking for a restaurant that understands the difference between vegan (vg) and vegetarian (vo). disaster.

    15 minutes left before the lunch window slams shut and my husband has take off, we happen across a little shop called itsu on regent street, and he convinces me to give it a try. completely pwned, i agree, and follow him in and try to make the best of the situation.

    and boy am i glad i did!

    recipe after the jump…

    we ordered the most delightful asian soup i’ve ever had….spicy dumpling noodles for £4.85

    of course, to veganize it, we had to make substitution. rather than itsu broth (which contains bonito seasoning) we had them make it with vegetarian miso soup for no extra charge, and boy was it good!
    so good, in fact, that we returned to the same shop for lunch again just a few days later.

    when we got back to los angeles, we missed itsu so much that we set out to make the soup for ourselves. although took a couple tries to get it right, my husband came up with the perfect recipe that actually tasted better than the original. so here you go! this recipe serves 2.


    3 packets of all natural mishima miso soup i use the spicy flavor…make sure it contains no bonito!
    1 package of udon noodles, with mushroom flavor seasoning
    1/2 cup of shiitake mushrooms, dried or fresh
    about 1 cup of fresh spinach (i grab it from the salad bar)
    1 carrot
    about 1 cup of bean sprouts
    12 pieces of frozen vegetarian gyoza (i use ohana brand, which can be found at whole foods)
    a handful of dry roasted sunflower kernels
    2 big paper soup containers. these are important, without them, the soup just wouldn’t be the same! you can steal these from the storemade soup counter at ralphs.


    1. soup and noodle base
    bring 3 cups of water to boil in a small pan
    add 3 miso soup packets, stirring continuously
    as soon as everything is mixed, add the udon noodles
    prod the noodles disrespectfully to break them up
    as soon as they’re broken up, add half the mushroom flavoring
    simmer for 2 minutes, and turn off the heat

    2. gyoza
    take 12 gyozas and place on a microwaveable plate
    cover with a damp piece of kitchen paper
    microwave for 40 seconds

    3. mushrooms
    reconstitute dried shiitake mushrooms per the instructions OR
    obtain and wash some fresh shiitake mushrooms

    4. construction
    pour 3/4 of the soup, divided evenly between two soup containers
    spoon out all the noodles, again dividing evenly
    add 1/4 cup of shiitake mushrooms to each container
    grate a medium carrot on top, of course divided evenly
    put 1/2 cup of fresh spinach leaves and 1/2 cup of bean sprouts into each container, resting on top of the soup

    put 6 won tons in each container, resting on top of the spinach leaves
    add the rest of the soup to each container, drizzling it over the won tons
    sprinkle some sunflower seeds on the very top

    you’re done!

    YUM. this really is the best asian style soup i’ve ever tried. it mixes hot and fresh ingredients for the perfect combination. oh and of course, i drown mine in sriracha hot sauce as well…but i wouldn’t recommend that for everyone. enjoy!

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3 responses to “itsu at home” RSS icon

  • How brilliant to find this recipe. This is my favourite thing for my wirk lunch ever and now I can make it for my supper too.
    Thanks Quarry Girl.

  • Thanks for this – I love Itsu food!

  • I love Itsu – not only their veggie dumpling pots but their Sushi as well, and their Miso. And their drinks.

    Is fairly healthy as well, from what I can make out.

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